Istanbul has shown impressive growth in trading performance in previous years, boosted by growing levels of inbound visitation and buoyant economic growth. In 2013 trading conditions are anticipated to become more challenging as room supply continues growing by about 17%.
Foreign arrivals to Istanbul grew by 16.4% year on year to 9.4 million in 2012. This was a very good result especially in comparison to foreign visitation to Turkey which only increased by a marginal 1.0 %. Results therefore reflected Istanbul growing in popularity as a tourist destinations with major demand generators, such as leisure attractions and its strong MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) market. Growth in foreign visitation is expected to continue in 2013 in light of a number of large national and international events that are scheduled over the year.
In 2012, room supply increased by 7.7% as 17 hotels entered the market of which 12 were internationally branded. In particular the Anatolian side of the city and the Atatürk Airport region have become hot spots for hotel development activity and have witnessed a significant increase in room supply. Nonetheless, some projects had been postponed due to funding difficulties or permit problems. The development pipeline continues to be strong and room supply is expected to increase by 16.6% in 2013, 9.8% in 2014 and by 5.3% in 2015.
Istanbul has delivered a sustained upward trend in RevPAR (revenue per available room) growth in the last three years. The uptick was stalled in 2009 with the onset of the global credit crunch. However, the city recovered in 2010 (RevPAR +15.7%) and the growth trend continued in 2011 with a robust 4.0% RevPAR improvement year on year. However, growth slowed in 2012 as a result of the increase in supply and the negative effects of the Euro Crisis, resulting in a year end RevPAR improvement of only of 2.2%.